Saturday, May 29, 2010

Canadian Visa Officials Gone Wild

Jason Kenney is very, very sorry for his department's incompetence: "Indian visa uproar prompts Canada to launch immigration-policy review." In the grandest tradition of ministerial responsibility that we heard so much hype about from the Harper government this week, Kenney kicked his underlings to the corner:
The Harper government vowed to review its immigration rules after Canadian visa officers in India touched off a furor by barring dozens of people on the grounds that their service in army, police and intelligence units made them complicit in human-rights violations.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney issued an apology on Friday, saying Canadian immigration officials should never have cast aspersions on India’s institutions. The incidents, he said, showed visa officers have too much latitude.
What happened to the new golden era of you-got-a-problem-you-take-it-up-with-me? No buck stops here for Kenney!

This visa flap has been pretty big in India, showcasing once again the Harper Conservatives' flair for international relations:
The visa denials certainly provoked outrage in India. It spilled onto front pages and every TV news channel. It led India Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna to complain that the letters were “entirely unacceptable.” Canada’s high commissioner was summoned to explain. The visa officers’ letters were taken as a national insult written under official Canadian letterhead.
Oh well, in a few years time, Kenney probably won't remember it at all.